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In defense of ‘seedy’ Eighth Avenue

“If Disney has taken over Times Square, then Eighth Avenue is its sooty back lot,” The New York Times said on Thursday.

Calling the area near Wednesday’s shooting, 37th St. and 8th. Ave. part of “Manhattan’s Seedier Side,” the Times was pretty down on the apparently not tourist-friendly area. Like tourists are so comfortable anywhere in this city?

The Times hesitates to recall, however, that the crux of this incident began in Union Square, one of Manhattan’s more expensive and ritzy neighborhoods, with the vicious hammer incident two days prior. Near Union Square, you can buy dresses for under $10 at Forever 21 — the article calls out 8th Avenue for hosting “a women’s clothing store with a full-length bright dress on a mannequin in the window with a price tag of $36.”

Yes, there is a peep show on the block, but come on, this is New York! Does a little grit really categorize an entire area as “seedy”?

The article points out that there’s a methadone clinic nearby, not acknowledging that centers like these focus on addiction recovery and rehab– imagine the neighborhood without such an institution!

Other facets the Time notes: $1 pizza (have they never been to the Lower East Side) and Wok to Walk, a European-import fast food restaurant serving customizable Asian dishes on the cheap.

The Times failed to mention that its offices are at 40th and 8th Ave. and amNewYork’s are only a few blocks further south.

While we’re not going to go ahead and declare 8th Avenue the new Bushwick, we’re going to say it’s not really seedy at all, practically packed with local businesses we’re happy to support.

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